Hockey Gods



Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on January 6th, 2013

Constance Mary Katherine Applebee (1873–1981), promoter of Women's Field Hockey - Applebee taught in girls' schools in Yorkshire, and offered private tuition including ‘Remedial Physical Exercises for Ladies and Children of Delicate Physique’ (early documents, box 5, folder 2, Constance Applebee Collection 3H/Applebee, Bryn Mawr Special Collections). Her life changed dramatically, however, when in 1901 she attended Dr Dudley A. Sargent's summer school at Harvard University's Hemenway gymnasium. According to a perhaps apocryphal story, Applebee mentioned field Hockey as a good form of exercise for women, and was astonished when her classmates had never heard of it. The following day, using improvised equipment, she gave a demonstration, effectively introducing the sport to the United States.

Field Hockey had actually been played by women students at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 1890s, where it was introduced by a British instructor (Anna Heubeck Knipp and Thaddeus P. Thomas, The History of Goucher College, 1938, 476). In Britain, however, the game was much better known, having been played at boys' schools since the 1870s, and at women's colleges and private clubs beginning in the late 1880s. The summer school episode was probably most significant, however, because Harriet Ballantine, the athletic director at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, was present. Ballantine invited Applebee to demonstrate field Hockey at Vassar, and then at several other women's colleges, girls' schools, and clubs. Before returning to Britain Applebee became a founder member of the American Field Hockey Association, the first women's Hockey club in the United States. She was particularly concerned with standardizing the sport, compiling the Spalding Sports Guide, Field Hockey for Men and Women (1901), which introduced British field Hockey rules.

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